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General Spa & Hot tub care questions & information Information for Chlorine & Bromine treated Spas & Hot tubs Information for Soft Soak, BaquaSpa & Leisure Time Free Treated Spas Alternative Spa & Hot tub Care Information, Spa Frog, Nature2, Pristine Blue Troubleshooting Spa & Hot tub Care Problems, mold, slime, biofilm, skin rashes Spa Care Questions Buy Spa & Hot tub Chemicals,
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General Spa & Hot Tub Care Questions...
6 keys to good spa & hot tub care
6 Keys to Good & Easy Spa & Hot tub Care
(it's not just chemicals)

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Key 3 - Cleaning
Most spas have at least one area with little or no circulation. This is where biofilms and bacteria can begin to grow. These areas produce the "stuff" that contributes to cloudy water and higher than normal chlorine or sanitizer usage. At least once a week, the walls and floor should be wiped and vacuumed to remove debris that the filter misses. 

It's like taking care of your teeth - you know that you should brush & floss, but...

Oh, and don't forget to clean that water line regularly to break up bio-film build up. 

By cleaning areas underwater, the circulation is greatly improved, the filter can pick up more stuff or it has less to pick up, and with proper cleaning, less chemicals are used. Regular cleaning above the waterline can also prevent skin rashes due to unseen bacteria build-up.

Here's what Spa & Hot tub cleaning involves:

  • Regular vacuuming (normally about once each week)
  • Regular wiping of the walls & water line (at least once each week)
  • Dealing with debris (as needed)
  • Chemical cleaning of the filter (recommended 2 times each season)
  • Regular cleaning of the plumbing lines (whenever the spa is drained & refilled)

Vacuuming - simple vacuuming of the spa to remove excess debris such as sand & dirt that gets tracked in upon entering the spa. Just keep as much of it out as possible.

Wiping - Wiping your spa is often the most neglected chore.  Many people don't see the point, but wiping the spa's surfaces prevents bio-film build up - above, at and below the waterline.  Wiping is akin to flossing your teeth.  You know you should do it,'s just a hassle.  I drive my wife a little nutty by wiping down the whole spa whenever I get in - but we've never had a skin rash or "slimy feeling" spa.  Be sure to clean the surface with surface cleaner when the spa is empty at draining time.  Use a good thick quality surface cleaner like BioGuard« Off the Wall« - DON'T USE regular household products like 409 or kitchen cleanser: household cleaners are harsh, especially on vinyl lined spas such as a Softub.  Those products can break down the plasticizer in the vinyl & shorten the liner's life. Plus, most household cleaners contain phosphates that feed bio-films. Not only will your spa look better without that icky dark ring around the spa, you will help eliminate a bio-film area.

Remove bio-films - use products like AquaFinesse that regularly remove bio-film build-ups in the spa plumbing lines. Read more about Bio-films here. More dealing with bio-films in Key 6 - Purging, Draining & Refilling. 

Dealing with leaves & other "blow ins" - Since most spas & hot tubs are covered, "blow-in" are not a big concern, but you should be aware of the care issue. The more stuff you've got blowing into your spa, the more stress you put on your entire spa maintenance system - including the chemicals. 

Chemical Filter Cleaning - aids in removing greases, oils & other bather and environmental waste that will soil your filter and shorten its life.  Normal, regular backwashing & rinsing will not remove these wastes.  Here's a couple of analogies that will help you understand the significance of chemical cleaning: do you use shampoo on when you wash your hair or do you just rinse it?  Without shampoo, your hair would be pretty matted & dirty after a couple of weeks.  How about dirty clothes?  Do you only rinse them out in the washing machine or do you add detergent to release & help remove the dirt & greasy stains?  The same thing goes with your pool filter.  How do you chemically clean a filter?  That's easy.  Use filter cleaning products such as SpaGuard« Surface Cleaner« that is used when you can soak your filter (soak the elements ) for a several hours. Regular use of enzymes further control "ick" build-up on the filter as well as spa surfaces.

Plumbing Lines - these are just breeding grounds for all kinds of stuff you don't want growing in your spa or hot tub.  If you ever wondered why your spa keeps going cloudy or gets a funky odor or you can't maintain good chlorine or other sanitizer levels is because there's a nice bio-film growing in the plumbing lines.  Use enzymes such as SpaGuard Natural Enzyme or Natural Chemistry Spa Perfect on a weekly basis to control biofilm build-up.  When draining & refilling the spa, products such as Natural Chemistry Spa Purge or AquaFinesse SpaClean tablets are excellent in removing this biofilm from the lines. To learn more about Bio-films here & enzymes click here.

Remember to follow the other 6 Keys to Spa Care.  They're just as important.

The 6 Keys typically take about 30 minutes or less to accomplish each week.  Yes, that's it!  Just 30 minutes.  Now you can enjoy your pool more & actually work less.  In the long run, you'll also spend less time & money.

Remember, Par Pool & Spa is always able & ready to help if you need us.  Just stop by or give us a call. Always helpful, always friendly.


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Ronald Parrs, Basic Author Links to products for all of the 6 Keys:
  1. Circulation
  2. Filtration - products to keep your filter running clean
  3. Cleaning & Maintenance
  4. Testing - test kits & strips
  5. Water Chemistry & Spa Care Chemicals
  6. Drain & Refill Hosting & Servers
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